We must admit we were surprised at the outcome of Tuesday’s Rio Rancho Public Schools Board of Education election, in which incumbents Ramon Montaño and Ryan Parra were ousted in favor of Amanda Galbraith and Noreen Scott in districts 2 and 4, respectively.
Naturally we weren’t surprised to see Jeffery Morgan’s victory in District 3, replacing Kathleen Covey, who chose not to run after replacing former member Martha Janssen, whose marriage and ensuing move out of that district forced her to resign. Morgan, running unopposed, will serve the final two years of that original four-year term.
We don’t harbor any doubts about the commitment or potential of Galbraith and Scott, and we congratulate them on their wins. We also believed Montaño and Parra had performed their duties well over the past four years.
We know Montaño won’t disappear from happenings in the city. Not only does he help Rio Rancho High School varsity boys basketball coach Wally Salata with his duties, but he also vowed to “continue my work fighting and speaking out against unfunded mandates and inadequacies in public school funding. There is still a lot of work that needs to be done to help support our students and teachers. I will continue to advocate and speak out on issues that negatively impact us all.”
Parra, a big backer of career-technical education in our schools, says he’ll also maintain a presence.
He, like Galbraith, wants to stay close to his alma mater, RRHS.
“I will continue to stay politically active and be a public figure that this community needs,” Parra said. “I plan to continue to stay involved with the chamber, NAIOP and various organizations in the community.”
Like Montaño, he’s not a “sore loser”: “My time in the public schools has given me more than just an education: It’s become a source of inspiration. The people here are also more than friends; they’ve become like a family, and the facilities like a home. I am going to miss them all and I hope one day to return.”
Bottom line: The bar has been set high for the newcomers, and we wish them well.
“RRPS is already very successful, so I hope to protect that wonderful legacy,” vowed Scott.
Galbraith was so enthusiastic about staying in touch with RRPS happenings that she attended a recent board retreat.
As for Morgan, who, like Galbraith, has been regularly attending board meetings, we’re sure he’ll bring some new ideas and ways of doing things to the district.
As he told us, as a salesman, he may have a different tact than the other four board members: “When somebody says, ‘No,’ I’m big on, ‘I just haven’t given them enough information to say ‘yes.’ So I just believe there’s a way we can get it done.”
And we’d be remiss if we didn’t thank the record turnout of voters, who voted in favor of the $60 million bond issue.
Good luck to the trio of new board members — and a whole-hearted “thank you” to outgoing members Ramon Montaño and Ryan Parra.